Testing and Evaluation of the Modified Gentex Mask Assembly in the Hyperbaric Environment
Final rept. Feb 96-Apr 97
ARMSTRONG LAB BROOKS AFB TX AEROSPACE MEDICINE DIRECTORATE
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Since the late 1970s Air Force hyperbaric facilities have been utilizing the MBU 5P aviators mask with a unique hyperbaric adapter assembly as a way to safely exhaust exhaled breathing gas from inside a high pressure chamber to ground level ambient pressure. Although the MBU 5P mask, developed in the 1950s, is still available through depot, the modified adapter assembly is not. In order to purchase additional units, the adapter assembly must be re-milled at considerable expense to the government. Recently developed mask technology has evolved new systems which may provide increased comfort and reduced maintenance at less cost to the government. The Modified Gentex Mask Assembly MGMA was evaluated by hyperbaric technologists at 3.0, 2.4 and 2.0 ATA using a pressure demand regulator, pressure transducers and a mass spectrometer to determine if the MGMA could physiologically maintain levels of inspired oxygen while also exhausting expired carbon dioxide and other exhaled gases to ambient pressure. Equipment testing has identified the MGMA as a suitable substitute for implementation at Air Force and possibly civilian hyperbaric facilities. Inspiratory and expiratory gas analysis indicate the MGMA and current A-14 regulator constitute a highly efficient oxygen delivery system for hyperbaric use. MGMA met or exceeded industry standards established by Sheffield, Stork and Morgan. Currently, the MGMA is being modified for improvements by the Gentex Corporation.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Life Support Systems